London Has Biggest Gender Pay Gap
Mayor seeks to correct the problem
By: Martin Bentham
Women in London are paid nearly a quarter less than men with the pay gap in the capital the widest in the country.
A new report, commissioned by Mayor Ken Livingstone, shows that women in London get an average of Pounds 16.21 per hour, nearly Pounds 5 less than the Pounds 21.05 men earn.
The 23 percent gap which is even wider in the private sector, comes despite women having better academic qualifications. It has failed to narrow despite years of equality legislation.
One reason for the disparity is the overwhelming dominance of men in the highest paid and most senior jobs. The report says there are only two female chief executives in London and only 11 percent of directors are women.
Further reasons include a shortage of childcare, long commutes which hinder mothers trying to balance family life with work, and discrimination against women during or after pregnancy.
A far greater number of women work part-time and the female dominated sectors such as administration and health where pay is relatively low.
Mr Livingstone said the findings were “unacceptable” and called for mandatory pay audits, stricter enforcement of pregnancy discrimination legislation and stronger powers for employment tribunals to help them enforce women’s rights.